Do your children's toys overwhelm you? Are your children overwhelmed by their toys? Do guests mistake your home for Toys R Us? If so, you have probably followed in the footsteps of many well-meaning parents before you. You, most likely with the help of over-eager grandparents, have given your children too many toys. Now the toys have taken over your home. How do you regain control? Follow these helpful guidelines.
Buy age-appropriate toys
Toys for children are rated by age for a reason. Many times toys will be inappropriate for a child simply because the child is too young to operate the toy or play with as intended by the designer.
Other times, the age rating means that it is unsafe for an underage child to play with. You must be especially careful with this when it comes to younger children. A toy that states "not for children under the age of 3" could have small parts that child could choke on.
It is pointless buying toys your children are too young for or will be hurt with. Your children may beg for the toy, or you may think it is a cool toy, but wait until the child is the appropriate age. The best children's toys are the ones they are old enough to play with correctly.
Buy toys that interest the child
On the surface, this looks like a no-brainer, but many times parents will buy toys for their child because they like the toy. This happens most often with educational toys when parents want their children to advance quickly. It can also happen with dads and remote control toys or moms with craft-related toys -- think sewing machines. Do not buy these toys before the child is ready for them and asks for them or else they will become one more unused toy that is taking over your home.
When Christmas time and birthdays roll around, it's easy to get excited and buy too many toys. Of course, it's all done with good intentions, but think before you buy. Set a budget and a limit to the number of toys bought. Once you have reached this limit, buy useful items for the child like clothes, room decorating items, musical instruments etc.
Children may not be as excited about these gifts as they are the latest, coolest toy, but by doing this you are accomplishing two things. First, you are controlling the toy overflow. Second, you are teaching your child that money should be spent wisely. Good things.
The guidelines above can be used in the future when you buy toys, but what if your house is overflowing now? Easy. Use the same guidelines and purge your home of the excess toys that have overtaken your home.
Start one room at a time, preferably when the children aren't home, and go through the children's toys and games with these guidelines in mind. Donate to needy children the toys that are age-inappropriate, duplicates, or that your children don't play with. Chances are your children will never miss these toys.
If your home has been overtaken with toys, don't despair. You can easily remedy the situation and prevent it in the future by following these guidelines when buying children's toys.